I received a rejection from an agent today, and such a nice turn-down it was! It encouraged me greatly. Whereas no one likes to get a rejection, it's easier to take if the note is a personal one, showing that the agent or editor actually did read the sample--and liked it.
Within the next day or so, I plan to enter Novel Journey's "Out of the Slush Pile: Fifteen Minutes of Fame Contest." It runs all year, with a different genre featured each month. Learn more at Novel Journey.